Morning celebration

And, how many times he decided that the best thing to do do… was to not do anything at all

El maple La Mariscal, Quito, Ecuador
The Maple         La Mariscal, Quito, Ecuador

“So, what are we going to do?” the young mother asked, placing her head on the also young farmer’s strong shoulder, whom she had loved so much, since way back, as far as she could remember.

“That’s up to me, it’s my turn to take care of this!”

Fachadas y coloridos La Mariscal, Quito, Ecuador
Facades and colours           La Mariscal, Quito, Ecuador

Having said that, he took her by the hand and led her slowly back to the house, while they quietly enjoyed the early morning hours. Once inside, they settled down next to the kitchen, in the room the wood-stove kept so nicely warm. He took out a bottle of spirits and opened it, wearing a hint of a mischievous smile on his face.

El Parque La Mariscal, Quito, Ecuador
The park           La Mariscal, Quito, Ecuador

“Whatever are you thinking of? Can’t you see how early in the morning it is?” she exclaimed, while laughing happily.

“Go for it, my dear! The one good thing about all this mess is that we are all alone in the house”, he replied, as he poured her a shot.

And what happened after during that morning, was something that hadn’t happened in quite a long while…

La calle de los Maples La Mariscal, Quito, Ecuador
The Maple tree’s street         La Mariscal, Quito, Ecuador


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Father… a wild card

On occasions, he had to manipulate the people and things around him, but always with elegance and respect.

Plaza Bolivar Otavalo, Imbabura, Ecuador
Plaza Bolivar           Otavalo, Imbabura, Ecuador

“And you defended yourself like a real trooper. Cool and relaxed, but absolutely firm, if I don’t remember wrong…”

At that moment, in the quiet of the early morning, the silence in the shed was broken, as she exploded in loud, merry laughter.


Views Otavalo, Imbabura, Ecuador
Views           Otavalo, Imbabura, Ecuador

“Well, aren’t you a card, a mean, wild one at that, my dear sir! Just look at how you’ve been playing me along, riding me, like if I were one of your stubborn mules”, she replied laughing still.

Fachadas Otavalo, Imbabura, Ecuador
Facades          Otavalo, Imbabura, Ecuador

“I’ve told you, once and again, that you could never get stuck in any gully, place or anywhere, not for anything in the world!” He added, visibly more at ease, while he tenderly hugged his wife.

The streets           Otavalo, Imbabura, Ecuador


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A prefab life

In his life, he always preferred to make his own way, as to following the paths he encountered on the way

Atardecer en el pueblo Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador
Dusk in the town           Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador

“But, that story already went through, at least, a full turn. Could be there’s more to it, but as far as I know, it goes back to your Mom’s plans for us, may her soul rest in peace.”

After a brief pause, he kept on going:

Los carritos Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador
The carts           Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador

“Everything nicely arranged. I would work with your Dad in the shop, and we would live in their house in Santa Isabel, right next to my work.”

After studying her reaction, he followed through:

La fuente Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador
The fountain           MindoPichincha, Ecuador

“Everything was good, your mom was a sweetheart, but… we had our own plans, and we wanted to set up a farm to live in, with just a few animals to call our own. Most importantly, we wanted to have a family and be happy together.”

“That’s so true! Right now, we would be in town in my parent’s house”, she interjected, clearly smiling.

En el bosque Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador
In the forest           Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador


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Stuck in a gulley

Problems, they constantly rained upon his life, sometimes in downpours and sometimes in drizzles, but they always arrived with the right answer, tucked neatly in the arm. 

Camino a Ibarra Carretera Tulcán a Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
On the road to Ibarra          Highway between Tulcán and Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

“What do you mean by that? Right now, you’ve completely lost me and left me stuck somewhere, in the middle of a gully. Do me a favour and explain yourself. I can’t understand what you’re talking about!” She answered utterly confused and dejected, staring at him, her face reflecting her anguish.”

“Right now, my dear? What I’m talking about is precisely how, right now, I see the most beautiful woman in the world. The one I love and always dreamed of. And sadly,  I see her full of anguish; she’s distressed and so very worried about the future of her son. But also, if I look back, I can reach out and envision this young girl holding the world in her hand and so full of plans for the future.”

En el parque Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
The park           Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

He waited for a moment to observe her reaction. As he noticed understanding, quietly reflected in her beautiful eyes, he continued.

“She was so beautiful… that girl I fell in love with so many years ago. Do you know, by any chance, ma’am, whom I’m referring to?”

“Of course, I do, dear. You’re always so kind and so gentle. But, that was a different situation”, she replied, thoughtful, yet slightly reassured.

“You really think so?” he quickly interrupted.

Fachadas y sombras Imbabura, Ecuador
Facades and shadows          IbarraImbabura, Ecuador

“But, those were other times and they’ve become history by now”, she continued, clearly more at ease, and with the slightest hint of a smile on her face.

“And, you do know that histories tend to repeat themselves, my love, since the beginnings of time.”

Volcán Imbabura Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
Imbabura Volcano           Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador


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A retrospective oulook

As he contemplated his future, he never lost sight of his past

En el parque Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
The park          Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

The father set his gaze upon her, with a look that overfilled with tenderness. When he answered, it was in his softest and most endearing voice.

“Let’s consider this carefully, my love. Life isn’t easy, nor is there any reason at all to complicate more than it already is, wouldn’t you agree? You see, just like it happened once to us; now, it’s their turn to grow up. And they’re doing a fine job of it, as it is. Still, if you don’t believe me, look at how they pulled a fast one on both of us, just a little while ago.”

Barrios de Ibarra Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
The city’s neighbouhoods          Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

“But, they want a house… in a tree!” she exclaimed completely distraught.

“Yes, Ma’am. That’s exactly what they want.” He replied looking at her intensely and carefully picking his next words before he continued talking to her.

La calle Flores Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
 Flores Street          Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

“Let’s consider this carefully, my love. Look, I don’t know the reason why, but, as it turns out, most of us prefer to look ahead, when maybe what we should be doing, at the moment, is to look back, instead.”

El parque de La Merced Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
 La Merced  Park          Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador


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A mother’s heartbrake

There had been moments of doubt in her mind and quite a few at that, but there was never one to vanquish her, for even the darkest nights, inevitably ended in a new dawn with its own light…

Madre e hijo Parque de la Merced, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
Mother and son            La Merced Park,  Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

Mother looked exhausted. It seemed she had fought a storm that with sudden violence had assaulted her world, consistently so placid and easy-going. She couldn’t grasp what had happened during that morning. The day had begun so perfectly well…

Cargando al hijo Parque de la Merced Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
A child on her shoulders           La Merced Park, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

How could it be possible that her child wanted to set up his own home? Now, as it turns out, he wants to leave us and sleep under some other roof, God know why! And, how can it be that this… little boy, has suddenly turned into a young man, so full of ideas and so abruptly with no warning? No way, this just can’t be! Besides, he’s going to live with Camila? For heaven’s sake. They’re just a couple of kids and have so much more to learn… She’s a dear, I have no doubts about that, but how can she consider living in a house stuck on a tree? And for a moment, she had me convinced.

Una nueva vida Parque de la Merced, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
A new life         La Merced Park, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador

Finally, she unexpectedly broke the prevailing silence.

“And you, sir, what do you have to say about all this?” she asked her husband, her face dark with unaffected worry.

Un pequeño adulto Parque de la Merced, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador
A young grown-up           La Merced Park, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador


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Views from the heights

Compartían su amor por el mundo observado desde las alturas de su imaginación

En el portal Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
The archway          Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

Inside the cow shed and in the continuing silence, Magnifico’s voice was heard, perhaps, a bit too loud:

“You’re so awesome and just too beautiful, Camila”

Camila, utterly surprised by the outburst, replied, “Excuse me?”

Talking directly to Camila, he answered: “Sorry Camila, I was talking to the other Camila, you know? The one right beside me.”

Hugging the cow and speaking to everyone, he proudly said, “Camila here, is done with today’s milking. And, she must be in a very good mood this morning. Today, she’s done more than her share of the milking!” Camila, was Lencha’s youngest calf. Like and any good mom, she mooed her compliments to Camila from her stall in the shed.

Carrera 6ta Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia
Sixth Avenue           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

He continued, immediately after, as he turned toward his father. “If it’s alright with you, Dad, Camila’s joining me this a lot morning to take the goats out to graze. She’s been thinking about how to set up the house in the pine tree.”

Camila quickly added, “I’ve made some drawings of the house. They’re in my rucksack. I like them and I think they’ll do very nicely.”

“I was sort of thinking that the kitchen and a place to sit around would be at the lowest level, something simple and at around twelve feet above the ground. Right where the actual play-house right now.”

Balcones Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
Balconies          Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

Then, there’s some wooden rungs to get up to the bedroom. To the side and in-between both rooms, we could place the bathroom. You get to it, going down a bit from the bedroom or going up from the kitchen. Of course, with those views up there, all the rooms would have picture windows to take in the scenery from above.”

“I’m so sorry, but I can’t show you the drawings yet. First, I’d like the lord of the house to see them,” she commented laughing.

Dad and Mom listened in absolute silence, very pondering quietly. So many thoughts raced through their minds.

Las Lajas Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia
Las Lajas           Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia


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Winner by knockout

Since she was a child, she was gifted with the important art of persuasion

La esquina de San Felipe Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
San Felipe’s corner           Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

Irresistibly, she turned to his mother, who was at a loss on what to answer Camila.

“Of course, if times change and for the better, or it becomes too complicated, you know, because of the children… we’ll just have to take it apart and reassemble it in the clearing, tucked in the back part and a bit hidden.”

Escaleras Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
Stairs           Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

“Well, in that case, I suppose it’s alright. I guess it could be an idea,” she answered, still with her own doubts, fears and misgivings, yet almost convinced.

Parque Nariño Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
Nariño Park           Pasto, Nariño, Colombia

So, in that morning, the winner by technical knockout and in the second round: María Camila!

Iglesia de San Felipe Pasto, Nariño, Colombia
San Felipe’s church           Pasto, Nariño, Colombia


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The power of a smile

 It took but a smile to conquer the world

La Quebrada Popayán, Cauca, Colombia
La Quebrada           Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

     Turning her gaze to face the father, she gave him her warmest smile.

“The same goes for the clearing. It’s so terribly close to the road. Whey anybody passing by can see us. Now, if we build on the tree, above, the tree’s branches will help to camouflage it. It would be so perfectly hidden, don’t you agree?”

Tejados Popayán, Cauca, Colombia
Tejados           Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

“And, if they did try to burn us out at night, we can climb from one tree to another, through the branches, until we reach that tree near to the gully. Then, we follow the creek, in the dark of the night, until we get to the caves. Nobody but us knows about them, so there, we will be more than safe! Would do you think, Dad?”

Puente Popayán, Cauca, colombia
Puente           Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

     With that smile, Dad’s heart melted. As he gazed upon the little girl, in his mind, he pictured his wife, back in the days when she was also a little girl, full of life and with so much energy. They, too, had grown up together, and as far back as he could remember, they had always been as one. Theoretically, it could be said that Camila won that round by knockout.

El Parque Caldas Popayán, Cauca, Colombia
El Parque Caldas Popayán, Cauca, Colombia


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A first round in the morning

Since he was only a child, he found that his greatest strength was love.

Carrera 1 y La Ermita Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
1st. Avenue           Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

“Good morning all! So, how are you this morning?”    (Continued…)

She turned to face Magnifico, who had help clearly written all over his face. She then gave him a comforting smile, the kind that is belongs between kids that are facing problems with the grownups, and answered with a wink him with a quick wink that said much.

El Hotel Nacional Valle del Cauca, Colombia
Hotel Nacional           Valle del Cauca, Colombia

“What’s up, Camila. We were just talking about the tree house.”

Camila walked over to his mom and gave her a peck on the cheek. “And, so what do you think? Isn’t it a wonderful idea Ma’am? She remarked talking to the mother.

“Well, it’s an idea, but…” His mother began to reply.

La Esquina Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
]The corner           Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Quickly, she interrupted, adding:

“I knew, you would love it, Mom! I’m also sure you’ll agree that in the plot behind the orchard it´s so terribly alone. In these dangerous times and with so many armed men around at nights. Imagine they surprised, what could we do back there? As they say, better safe than sorry!”

Una visión Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
A vision of the city           Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia


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